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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Dennis Perkins

Saturday, May 9, 2020

SPOTLIGHT: Eddie Brown of Giving Words

by Cyrus Webb

In a time when so many are hurting and in need of help, Giving Words is an organization that is trying to do its part to make sure that no one is left behind.

In this conversation you will hear from Eddie Brown of Giving Words about their mission and what they are doing to make a difference.

Eddie, we are glad to help share the work that you are doing with Giving Words. I learned early on in my life the power that words have. How has your appreciation for words and making a difference shaped your life and your work? 
My wife Ginny’s love for words began at a young age when her mother “killed” the television and told her and her brothers to read a book from the suspiciously stocked bookshelf.  Her love for reading turned into a college major and a career in teaching English.  For me, words of encouragement have always been my love language.  Both of us have learned through marriage, divorce, remarriage, and child rearing that our words carry enormous power.  Although we want to meet some physical needs, we really want to remind our mothers that they have value. Single motherhood is often a thankless and even criticized position. We hope to reverse that trend.

How was the idea for Giving Words formed?
The name Giving Words actually arose in 2008 when Ginny and I were on a mission trip in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There if you teach a child English, he will be able to rise to middle class.  Originally, we hoped to facilitate a bilingual school in Honduras, but our lives changed. As our dream began to fit our circumstances, we realized that our words of encouragement could do just as much here, just in a different fashion.

I know every day is a new adventure and opportunity when it comes to helping others. Let our audience know how Giving Words goes about offering assistance?
Giving Words started on December 2017 offering assistance to single mothers with whatever small needs they had.  Quickly, the primary need, car repair or car provision became apparent.  As we have networked in Central Virginia, we have honed our vision.  For example, in Louisa county, there are 12 organizations that help with rental assistance, but only we help with car repair.  The car is such crucial link in rural Virginia; no car means no transportation to work, the doctor or the grocery store. We also have established a clothing closet and baby supply swap in a local church basement.  Finally, we are currently organizing a mentoring program that will either connect moms to mentors and to classes that will improve their quality of life, all free of charge.

We live in a world that unfortunately finds it hard to think about others. What has it been like for you to by example show the truth of more blessings come from giving than in receiving?
Honestly, sometimes it’s hard.  We have sacrificed much of our free time.  When we are behind a computer screen or spending a Sunday afternoon towing a car, we wonder what we’ve gotten into.  The difficulties fade away so quickly though, when we see excitement in a mom’s face as she gets a car or the delight in the child who finally had a bed to sleep on.

There are so many generous people in our community.  We just needed to facilitate the connections between the needs and the resources.  Our lives are rich and fulfilling because we have found our purpose in our hardships.  Ginny and I were uniquely designed and then placed through trials that both help us to empathize with these moms and simultaneously offer practical help and wisdom.

Social media is how you and I connected through a mutual friend. How has it helped you in spreading the word about your work?
Social media has been a great support and a unique challenge.  We have made many connections via Facebook and even have raised some money, but I am sure we can do so much more.  Primarily, we have communicated with mothers and supporters through our Facebook page, Giving Words, and a private group within called Giving Moms and Mentors.  As we expand, we hope to create more groups, maximize our exposure and fundraising potential there.

Even people of faith can find it hard to stay motivated at times. What has kept you from throwing in the towel or giving up along the way?
First and foremost, we have a personal Father who sustains us through His Word, His church and His people. Additionally, we have supportive churches, friends, and family that have backed our vision with their time and resources.  We both believe that God designed us for His purposes and our skills and experiences have pointed us clearly to this ministry.  Without it, so much of our lives would be insular or even aimless.

Really appreciate this time with you, Eddie. How can our audience stay connected with the work you are doing and offer assistance?
You can like our Facebook Page and follow our website www.givingwordsva.org for upcoming updates.  Even more importantly, we ask for prayers as we continue to grow and develop.  Pray that we can continue to develop our partnerships and funding to increase our impact.  Through partnerships, community, volunteering, and funding, we can impact the lives of these mothers and children who are struggling to make ends meet.

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